School teaches you a lot of things like what year the Declaration of Independence was signed and how to multiply fractions—knowledge that may help you in a round of trivia, but doesn’t always prepare you for life in the working world. Employees who are destined for success quickly realize there are crucial skills that can help them get ahead.
Whether you’re brand new to the working world or you’ve been doing the 9-to-5 for the last decade, here are the most important job skills that are not taught in college.
How to take constructive criticism
You won’t grow professionally without taking the advice of others so listen up. Don’t be defensive and do use the opportunity to step up your game. You may think they’re being harsh, but they really want you and the company to succeed.
How to avoid gossip
Whether you sit next to the office drama queen or heard in passing about Dave from sales’ recent dispute with HR, work can seem like high school all over again. Don’t indulge in any gossip; this could (and probably will) come back to haunt you. If you’re non-confrontational, the best thing to do is change the topic.
The importance of double checking your work
A typo in an email to a coworker every once in a while is understandable but sloppy mistakes are unprofessional. People won’t be able to take your work seriously and may not be able to trust you to ensure something is done well.
How to take responsibility for your mistakes
Mistakes happen and professionalism requires the maturity to take ownership of your slip-ups. Fessing up will not always be easy, but it’s important you address it before someone else does. As soon as you realize your mistake, bring it to your boss along with a solution.
The importance of keeping a clean social media presence
Despite what you may think, LinkedIn is not the only social media platform employers are checking. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are commonly checked as well. And yes, some will scroll down to see what you were doing five years ago. Why? They want to get an overall impression of you—make sure it’s a good one.
How to write for the workplace
English class may have taught you how to turn one sentence into a 10 page paper, but in the working world, you’re better off cutting down your writing. No one has time to read a 6,000 word email detailing your thoughts on the project you were just assigned. Acknowledge that you understand the work, say you will let your supervisor know if you have any questions, and move on.
The importance of being proactive
Companies keep and promote employees who go above and beyond their job description. Figure out what other people are doing and go one step further.
Now that you’re equipped with important work skills, let’s find you a new job to put them to use.
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